Moving back to the UK - best way to get DS in to nursery/preschool?

(6 Posts)
titihood Mon 28-Oct-13 19:04:34

We are planning to move back to the UK (from Canada) in January 2014 and I am in a bit of a quandry over nursery/pre-school options for my DS. He will be 3 in March and we would like to send him to a pre-school, but I nothing about the enrolment/registration process other than what I have seen on some private school websites, which seems to be at least a year in advance.
He is currently in a daycare (nursery?) in Montreal and is very happy there, he is potty-trained and seems to get on with both the older and younger kids. I like the idea of Montessori/Steiner/Waldorf inspired early childhood education but have no bias either way as to private vs. state-run schools.
We will be living in London but as yet have no real idea where yet. This should become clearer in the next month. What I would really value information/advice on is waiting lists, suggestions for good schools in Hackney, Islington, Waterloo, Crouch End areas, and how on earth we go about approaching schools etc. when we are not even in the country.
If anyone has any prior experience with this please let me know!
Thanks so much

Tableforfour Tue 29-Oct-13 18:03:46

Are you looking for info on private or state schools?

LIZS Tue 29-Oct-13 18:10:46

He may not be eligible for a state preschool until September so you would be looking for a private day nursery or preschool (either standalone or attached to a private school) which accepts younger children (before the 15 hours Early Years funding, which for which your ds would be eligible after Easter ) and has spaces for a 2-3yr old. Most preschools are sessional (ie am or pm) , do you need full daycare to cover working hours or will you be a SAHM.The borough/council website should enable you to find a contact for early years education in each area.

titihood Sat 16-Nov-13 21:29:49

Thanks for the info LIZS. Would he need to go on a waiting list for state school, or does it all depend on the catchment area where you live? I would need f/t daycare due to working hours (family are all in Wiltshire). So the Early Years funding kicks in once your child is 3? What do families do before then if both parents need to be working?
Quebec (province where I currently live in Canada) pays up to 80% of daycare costs if you cannot get a place in a state-run one (most people in Montreal can't) so it is good to know that we will have to plan more finances for childcare when we move.

Tableforfour - we are looking at both private and state schools. I really like the idea of Montessori/Waldorf/Steiner education for pre-school/primary school and here there are some 'alternative' state-run schools. I don't know if London/the UK has anything like that or if only private schools would offer that kind of more child-based education.

poopnscoop Sun 17-Nov-13 20:46:59

We are a new independent Pre-school in SW London (Jenniflowers) - we love certain aspects of Steiner, Montessori, Forest Schools etc. and have incorporated those elements into our Pre-school program. Eg emphasis on independence, nature, recycling, out door play, learning through play, sensory and heuristic play, caring and sharing!

We have sessional care and all day care, term time only and all year round, as that's what our local parents need.

Many independent pre-schools do offer the govt funding but many don't as the childcare provider is actually heavily subsidising those places.. Something I don't think many parents are aware of. We offer a few funded places but cannot afford to offer loads otherwise we cannot pay our overheads.

So we are out there! All the best in your search in N London.

titihood Wed 20-Nov-13 02:06:09

Thanks poopnscoop for your message - gives me some hope! Jenniflowers sounds like a lovely pre-school.

Adjusting to life back in the UK is going to be hard at times but there is a lot that I cannot wait for (being a 2 hour car journey from parents and siblings instead of 7 hours by plane is one of them).

I guess I just have to do a lot more online research, contact borough councils where we think we might live and put my son's name on some waiting lists. If we end up in Wimbledon (one of the places on our potential list) then I will definitely be contacting Jenniflowers.

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